Qatari Official Jailed For 15 Years And Fined In Hamad Medical Corporation Corruption Case

A Qatari official working for Hamad Medical Corporation was sentenced to 15 years in prison and fined 729 million riyals ($200 million) after being found guilty of bribery, exploitation of position, damage to public funds and money laundering.

Three other HMC employees were convicted on the same charges, including another Qatari official who was sentenced to 11 years in jail and fined 171 million riyals, Qatar’s prosecutor’s office said.

The four employees were among 16 people charged in July last year over corrupt practices at HMC, Qatar’s biggest healthcare provider.

Ten other accused, including two Qataris and owners of companies contracted by HMC, were given jail sentences of five to eight years as well as fines totalling 250 million riyals.

Two of the accused were acquitted, the prosecutors said.

All were charged following an investigation that revealed “employees exploiting their position at HMC, favouring certain companies owned by the other defendants and facilitating their obtaining contracts to supply medical materials and supplies to HMC in return for sums of money”, prosecutors said while announcing the charges last year.

“After the evidence was sufficient, the attorney general ordered the transfer of the accused to the competent criminal court.”

HMC runs 12 hospitals in Qatar, the National Ambulance Service and offers home and residential care. It has more than 25,000 employees.

Qatar has been increasing its anti-corruption campaign in recent years. The convictions in the HMC case come two months after a criminal court in Doha sentenced former finance minister Ali Sherif Al Emadi to 20 years in prison for laundering more than $5.6 billion. The court also ordered him to pay a fine of over 61 billion riyals, including a fine of 40.9 billion riyals – twice the amount of money he laundered – and others amounting to more than 21 billion riyals.

Al Emadi was arrested in May 2021 and fired as minister of finance. At the time of his arrest, he was considered one of Qatar’s most powerful officials and also served as chairman of the central bank, on the board of Qatar’s sovereign wealth fund and as president of the executive board of Qatar Airways.

The day before his arrest, Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim abolished provisions that gave cabinet ministers immunity from prosecution.


The National News

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